Rising Anxiety: AI Threatens Jobs and Mental Health
The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) is causing growing concern among workers who fear that their jobs will be replaced, leading to an increase in anxiety and mental health issues. The recent launch of ChatGPT, a generative AI platform capable of handling complex tasks, has marked a significant turning point in how AI is transforming the workplace.
People feel anxious about anything new and unknown, says Clare Gustavsson, a therapist based in New York. The fast-paced growth of AI technology makes it difficult for individuals to find a solid footing. Professionals in various fields, such as legal assistants, programmers, accountants, and financial advisors, are particularly worried about the rise of generative AI, which can quickly perform tasks such as creating human-like prose, computer code, articles, and offering expert insights.
According to a study published in March, analysts at Goldman Sachs predict that generative AI could impact or even eliminate approximately 300 million jobs. Eric, a bank teller, shares his concerns, stating, I anticipate that my job will become obsolete within the next 10 years. The bank I work for is expanding AI research, so I plan to change careers.
The fear of AI replacing jobs is not limited to traditional industries. The entertainment sector is also grappling with the threat of AI being used in film and television production, which directly impacts actors and screenwriters. Meris Powell, another New York therapist, explains that individuals working in creative fields are particularly concerned about this development.
The anxiety surrounding AI is comparable to the fears associated with climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Gustavsson. However, she encourages her patients to embrace the unknown and find ways to leverage new technologies to their advantage.
A graphic animator from New York shares her experience of feeling threatened by AI-infused software that generates images rivaling the quality of those created by humans. This has led her to consider shifting her focus to a management-level role in response to the potential loss of her specialized skills.
Peter Vukovic, a chief technology officer from Bosnia, believes that only a small percentage of the population will benefit from AI, leaving the majority in a state of concern. While AI is primarily focused on efficiency and profitability, Vukovic suggests exploring its potential applications beyond automating jobs.
He poses the question, What’s the best way for us to use this technology? rather than solely relying on it for job automation.
In conclusion, the rise of AI is generating anxiety and threatening job security, causing significant mental health concerns among workers. From creative fields to traditional professions, individuals are worried about their roles being replaced by generative AI. However, therapists urge people to embrace the unknown and harness technology to their advantage. While the impact of AI on jobs remains a concern, exploring its potential beyond automation could open up new opportunities for different sectors. As society navigates through this technological shift, it is essential to strike a balance between AI advancement and human well-being.